Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2014/08

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Photo of Asilomar Conference Grounds room

This photo is on Flickr under CC-BY 2.0, and high resolution versions are available. In looking at the photo, the question is, would the painting towards the right of the room pose a copyright issue, and if so, could the issue be worked around by retouching the picture to conspicuously blur the painting? In addition, parts of the bedspreads appear to have some sort of decorative design on them, but it seems that the design (if copyrighted) would likely be de minimis and therefore not an issue. Any thoughts? --Gazebo (talk) 09:46, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

I think that the painting and each of the spreads are definitely de minimis. While it is possible that a crop of the image showing only the painting or only one of the spreads might be a problem, that does not affect the image as a whole. We have many hi-res images that have elements that cannot be shown separately. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 13:06, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. LX (talk, contribs) 18:34, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the responses. The photo is now on Commons. --Gazebo (talk) 05:16, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

In Dorada Park, Oakdale, California there is a war memorial obelisk. From what one understands, FOP in the US does not extend to artwork but at the same time, if a work of art was installed in a public location without a copyright notice prior to 1978 and there was no effort to actively prevent copying, then the work is out of copyright in the US. Andrew Shanken, an associate professor of architecture, mentioned in his writing "Towards a Cultural Geography of Modern Memorials" (pg. 358) that the memorial obelisk was installed in 1929 by the Ladies Improvement Society. When the memorial was looked at very recently, one does not remember seeing a copyright notice (assuming it did not wear off over time or something like that.) This seems to indicate that there is a good chance of the memorial obelisk being out of copyright, although perhaps additional information would be useful. Thoughts? --Gazebo (talk) 04:22, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

I think that an obelisk would not get a copyright, because it is too simple. This design exists since the high antiquity in Egypt. Regards, Yann (talk) 06:46, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi there, I am entangled in a small maze related to copyrights. I have an interesting publicity poster of the 1950's Spain depicting a map. The advertiser is a small textile manufacturer, and the poster has been used in a book. The editor got the poster picture from a foundation, and that is stated on the picture caption. What copyright applies? Should I ask for permission to the foundation? Would it be enough to get a "yes, you can use it email"? Any hints appreciated. Iñaki LLM (talk) 06:57, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

Correct licenses?

Hi, I'd just like confirmation that I have used the correct licenses when uploading File:London Road, Hazel Grove 1890s.jpg. I'm going to upload a few pre-1923 images manually from the Stockport Image Archive and I want to be sure I'm doing it correctly. Cheers. Delsion23 (talk) 13:05, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

It looks fine to me. Regards, Yann (talk) 12:48, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the help :) Delsion23 (talk) 14:48, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

FNAC logo on Kobo ereader


I submitted File:Kobo_by_FNAC_White_bg.jpg for QI review and the reviewer rightly raised concern about the copyright of the logo on the device. This is the logo of en:Fnac a French retailer co-branding the device in France. When uploading I didn't think it was a problem because the logo is just normal text and a square, so not copyrightable in my opinion, also the logo is not the subject, the ereader is. If the logo is a problem I'll just clone it out. What's the proper course of action here ? Thank you for your help. D4m1en (talk) 10:12, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes, the FNAC logo is covered by {{PD-textlogo}}. Regards, Yann (talk) 12:46, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
Understood, thank you. D4m1en (talk) 14:49, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

"This file for non-profit use"

Isn't this a violation of the requirement of Commons to be able to use media also for commercial purposes? This guy has uploaded a bunch of images with such a comment. Palosirkka (talk) 14:25, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

DR created by Túrelio. I added one more. Thanks for reporting. Regards, Yann (talk) 15:01, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks guys! Palosirkka (talk) 16:40, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Threes! and Blek icons

Does the Threes! icon meet the threshold of originality? Amitie 10g suggested it did at the icon's deletion discussion. If it doesn't, what about the Blek icon (at enwp) as well? Is there a good resource for reading more about this? czar  21:34, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

See Commons:Threshold of originality. I'd say the Copyright Office would analyze the Blek icon as a stylized B in a box and deny it registration, much like the W crown in File:Best_Western_logo.svg.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:18, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
The Threes! icon has been released by the copyright owner {{Cc-by-sa-3.0}} and we have a OTRS ticket to prove it, the fact they wish to revoke an un-revocable licence can't change that. I would also agree with Jim in his close of the DR that as the company behind it appears to be in the US, it would fall into {{PD-textlogo}} so it is free what ever way you look at it. The Blek Logo on the other had would appear to be Austrian in decent so while it is probably {{PD-textlogo}} in the US, the threshold of originality in Austria is different to that of the US and it could well be protected in Austria so would recommend leaving it at enwp either as fair use (as it is currently) or if you are sure it is free in the US as {{PD-ineligible-USonly}}. LGA talkedits 23:09, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Commons:Threshold of originality didn't have a lot by way of definitions for me to work with. My understanding is that we work with copyright holders who need to revoke within a short period of the original upload. (Though, if it is PD-textlogo anyway, that defeats the purpose of the cc-by-sa license.) If the Threes logo is simple enough to not pass the TOO, why wouldn't Blek's be as well? What else would we need to know about Austrian threshold of originality? czar  04:19, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately we are not comparing like for like, on a purely US basis both are most likely {{PD-textlogo}}, as for Threes logo that is far as commons needs to go as it is a US logo, however as for the Blek logo, that comes from Austria and commons policy requires it to be free in both the US and Austria and it the issue of it's protection in Austria that is the difference. The too examples that Commons:Threshold of originality gives for Austria give some guidance that it could be protected but it is not definitive, however given that there is some doubt, COM:PRP would indicate that we don't host it and play it safe. LGA talkedits 04:45, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

Some FoP cases

While trying to grab some of the images at Fotopedia (a hosting site that’s going to disappear within 3 days), I come across a few items that may not be worth uploading due to copyright concerns, namely constraints to the freedom of panorama:

  1. -- not OK; temporary exhibit from June 6 to Sep 11, 2011[1]. Copyrighted sculpture "Hitting Things just with Qi" by Cang Xin.
  2. ✓ Done -- File:Omega by Luk van Soom.jpg (Also from the Anningahof as #4, but there since 1998 and still there.) Unfortunately,   not OK, see #4.
    Nominated for deletion at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Omega by Luk van Soom.jpg. My bad. Lupo 14:57, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
  3. ✓ Done -- File:Reformation Wall Geneva, detail.jpg
  4. -- not OK. Open air all right, but not a public place according to COM:FOP#Netherlands (museum, entrance fee charged, photo taken from museum's grounds). The Anningahof has a "yearly changing collection"[2], and it appears that this one was on display from 2011 to 2013. (Not listed anymore in 2014, but is listed in earlier years.)
  5. -- not OK; temporary exhibit from June 6 to Sep 11, 2011[3]. Copyrighted sculpture by Sui Jianguo.
  6. ✓ Done -- File:Hands of hell.jpg
  7. -- not OK; apparently placed there only temporarily from March 22 to May 5, 2011 according to [4].
  8. -- Interior view; location is Germany, which has FOP only outdoors. (Funny that someone with the handle "gpsloco" has no geoinformation in the EXIF...)
  9. -- not a FOP issue; image shows Laotian banknotes. Laos is not listed at Commons:Currency.
  10. -- This was copied from the Commons to Fotopedia: File:Bill Reid Haida Gail 01.jpg. Unclear whether it would be OK FOP-wise. (Photo of a copy of the sculpture; copy is located outside the Canadian embassy in Washington, DC, United States; another one exists in Canada.)
  11. -- no FOP in France, sculpture too prominent IMO. Lupo 05:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  12. -- billboard/poster above window too prominent IMO. Lupo 05:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  13. -- might be OK, the two posters visible are obscured by reflections and might count as de minimis. Lupo 05:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  14. -- looks OK to me Lupo 05:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  15. -- looks OK to me Lupo 05:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  16. -- looks OK to me Lupo 05:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  17. -- looks OK to me Lupo 05:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  18. -- looks OK to me Lupo 05:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  19. -- looks OK to me Lupo 05:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  20. -- interior shot, ad display is main subject.
  21. -- display with two posters is main subject; also no info about where that is.
  22. -- not sure there's something copyrightable there (maybe the textile design), but IMO not worth the trouble.
  23. -- looks OK to me Lupo 05:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  24. ✓ Done -- is OK; sculpture by François Joseph Bosio (1769-1845). See Category:Statue of Louis XIV in Paris, Place des Victoires. Uploaded as File:Equestrian statue of King Louis XIV in Paris, Place des Victoires.jpg.
  25. -- unclear; personally, I wouldn't upload it: whole display looks artistic. Lupo 05:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  26. ✓ Done -- looks OK to me Lupo 05:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC) Uploaded as File:GiorgioArmani@Paris.jpg. -- Tuválkin 18:01, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
  27. -- borderline; personally, I wouldn't upload it. Lupo 05:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  28. -- borderline; personally, I wouldn't upload it. Lupo 05:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
  29. -- poster in first window too prominent.
  30. -- poster in first window too prominent.
  31. -- is a copyvio/license washing (and not a FOP case anyway: indoors). Available in fuller version on many other sites, for instance [5]. Artwork by Adam Wallacavage.

If you think these can be hosted in Commons, well, better grab them while they are still there. If not, well, better focus on salvaging stuff we can keep. -- Tuválkin 21:09, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

Uploaded #2 as File:Omega by Luk van Soom.jpg and #3 as File:Reformation Wall Geneva, detail.jpg. On #1, #4 and #5, I'm not sure they are permanently installed. #6 is probably also permanent? Lupo 21:58, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Great, thanks for looking into it! -- Tuválkin 14:49, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I commented on #11 to #30, but I don't have the time to upload those I think might be fine. Lupo 05:36, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

This other photo from Fotopedia is pending a DR also for FoP issues. -- Tuválkin 21:04, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

non-free "open" licenses; list?

Hi! A new family of "open access" licenses from the STM publishing group was recently brought to my attention. They restrict derivatives and commercial use, so they pretty clearly fail to comply with the licensing rules. This made me realize:

  1. I don't know if there is an official/quasi-official list of known-non-free licenses; and
  2. If there is such a list, I don't know what the process is for putting a license on it (other than being bold).

Any pointers for me? Would such a list be valuable if we don't have it? Thanks. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 15:55, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Commons:Bad sources lists some media sources that are known to be common sources of copyright violations and non-free content. Commons:Copyright tags has a section called Unfree licenses, mainly for licenses that had a template at one point. Other than that, we don't have anything approaching an exhaustive list of licenses that are not compatible with Commons' licensing requirements, just as we don't have an exhaustive list of licenses that are suitable for Commons. We describe the requirements in Commons:Licensing, and we list the most common free and non-free licenses that people are most likely to encounter (which essentially amounts to different Creative Commons licenses) in a number of contexts (e.g. Commons:Flickr files, and Commons:Project scope/Summary). I don't know if the licenses you mention merit inclusion anywhere. I would say it depends on how likely it is that people mistakenly upload content covered by those non-free licenses. LX (talk, contribs) 19:07, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
One issue to consider regarding this specific family of licenses is the Association's encouragement of adding "riders" to standard licenses. The intention appears to be for authors to add the 'Research Rights Added' to the CC family of licenses, thereby rendering those licenses no longer free for certain kinds of reuse (such as data mining.) I assume this falls under the similar NC or ND interpretation and would render the license unacceptable for Commons, even though the license were otherwise CC-by or similar? (Not having seen this in the wild, I assume these riders would become CC-by-RRA) - Amgine (talk) 19:53, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
@Amgine: Yes, that appears to be what they intend (though not 100% clear yet). Definitely would cause extra confusion if that happened. But I'm hopeful that these will not become widely used.
@LX: If there isn't a list, I don't see a particular need to create one. Happy to discuss if others have a different opinion, though. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk)
Isn't that illegal? CC licenses typically contain language forbidding any extra conditions, e.g. the CC-BY-3.0 legal text 8. e. says This License constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the Work licensed here. There are no understandings, agreements or representations with respect to the Work not specified here. Licensor shall not be bound by any additional provisions that may appear in any communication from You. This License may not be modified without the mutual written agreement of the Licensor and You. which would suggest that any "riders" can be freely ignored. --Tgr (talk) 03:14, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
"...without the mutual written agreement of the Licensor and You." For example, This work is licensed under the CC-by license with the addition of the Research Rights Added rider; any use or reuse of this work indicates your agreement to be bound by this license and rider. - Amgine (talk) 04:45, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes; an addition "granting more permissions" is allowed; not any restriction. So a CC BY-NC+ "Commercial use allowed for uses other than data mining" may be possible. See CCPlus for more info. Jee 05:27, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
@Tgr: I think Amgine and Jkadavoor have already mostly answered, but to be clear: if there is a sole/original author (which is usually the case in scientific publishing), they can choose to do whatever they want with "their" license, including adding/removing terms. The prohibition on adding restrictions primarily matters when there is a third party's content involved. For example, if a paper used my CC BY-SA image to illustrate the paper, and added a non-open clause that claimed to restrict use of my image as well as the rest of the article, that would be a violation of the terms I placed on my image. Hope that clarifies.
CC could make a trademark claim, I suppose, but realistically that'd be a very difficult, distracting claim to make. They're much more likely to succeed just with straight up PR efforts. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 16:17, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
Luis Villa (WMF), hope you're talking about this. Jee 16:36, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
@Jkadavoor: Yup, that's a good link for the policy. It is just a hard policy for them to enforce, legally. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 17:24, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
I put up a blog post about these licenses, by the way. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 09:55, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Venera 13 was a Soviet space mission that returned surface imagery of Venus. Images from it are hosted by a NASA website that carries a disclaimer that all content on the site is public domain. Consequently, we have some images from it hosted here on Commons under NASA-PD. I nominated it for deletion recently, decision was "keep" since NASA said it was okay, even though NASA doesn't own the imagery. This raises some questions in my mind: Can a website that hosts (but doesn't own) an image give permission to Commons for use? Does the opinion of the NASA personnel satisfy our copyright requirements in both the US and the Russian Federation? In fact there are some fair use images of Chinese space missions on the same NASA website, should we upload those to Commons as well? Thoughts? Geogene (talk) 16:55, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

This was an unbelievably bad closing decision. While NASA has gotten far better (in general) regarding attribution of non-NASA material, they are not infallible, especially on old webpages. The NSSDC website is especially egregious when it comes to hosting images that are copyrighted. I'm personally of the opinion that NSSDC should be blacklisted as a source for this reason. Regarding this particular situation, what NASA personnel believe regarding copyright is irrelevant. The fact is that this is an image taken by a Soviet spacecraft, not a NASA one, and these images remain copyrighted. Neither NASA nor Commons can unilaterally declare these rights null. Huntster (t @ c) 22:38, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
That would be a good idea, to blacklist the NSSDC webpages as a source, because nearly every space-related image I see that's problematic came from there. Note there's a warning that comes with the NASA-PD tag that applies to pictures of Russian/non-US hardware on NASA websites not necessarily being PD; probably whoever put it there had that particular site in mind, because I've never seen photos of Russian hardware on other NASA sites. The important point here is that NASA-PD images are PD because a NASA employee made them as part of their official duties, not because a NASA representative thinks that they're PD, even if they put a disclaimer on the site that says they're PD and then emailed us permission (because misunderstandings happen, they're rocket scientists, not copyright lawyers). I don't see a problem for them putting things on their website as educational fair use, but that's not suitable for our purposes at Commons. Geogene (talk) 00:18, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Would adding an entry for the NSSDC site at Commons:Problematic_sources be useful? --Gazebo (talk) 05:14, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
I think that fits the situation. Geogene (talk) 17:37, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Done. --Gazebo (talk) 07:39, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

Even if the photograph is uncopyrightable, the descriptive text in the EXIF data is presumably copyrightable and copyrighted... AnonMoos (talk) 11:22, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

In such a case, it should be possible to reupload the image without the descriptive EXIF text and then have an admin delete the previous revision. --Gazebo (talk) 07:57, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

Is a Flickr comment sufficient?

I've been in correspondence with a Flickr user about uploading some of their photos to Commons. These photos are currently licensed as "All rights reserved", so I explained to them that they would need to change the licences to either CC-BY or CC-BY-SA in order for them to be compatible. Their response (which you can see here, along with the entire conversation) was positive, in that they gave me permission to use the photos, but they have not yet changed the licences. Is a Flickr comment sufficient to grant permission, at least on a temporary basis, or do we strictly have to wait until the licences are changed? PeeJay2K3 (talk) 16:46, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

"You're welcome to use any of my photos." is not enough as it implies a permission "to be used on the Wikipedia article about the 1999 Champions League Final." But a comment "I am here by releasing this photo under a CC BY 3.0 (or CC BY-SA 3.0)" is enough. Note that a version number is must for a valid license. Jee 16:56, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that, Jkadavoor. Seems odd that simply saying those words would overrule the "All rights reserved" copyright licence, but I suppose it makes things easier for people who may not fully understand how to alter the licence in the Flickr settings. PeeJay2K3 (talk) 21:11, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Attic fan photo

If a high resolution version of this photo of an attic fan were to itself be released under a free license, would there be a copyright issue with the logo and text on the thermostat box underneath the fan (with the blue front) or would it be a case of de minimis or below the threshold of originality? (As a side note, this is not the first time that I have asked about copyright issues with possible image contributions, but it seems more useful to get information from others in unclear situations than to contribute an image that has to be deleted later on.) --Gazebo (talk) 07:27, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

That's safely de minimis in my opinion, and likely below the threshold of originality as well. The logo seems to be a version of the one found at, so I'm guessing the relevant copyright jurisdiction is the United States, which seems to have a pretty sensible threshold of originality compared to, say, the UK. LX (talk, contribs) 13:21, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. The photo is now uploaded. --Gazebo (talk) 04:15, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi. I have been in a discussion about a Japanese toy in en.Wikipedia. The discussion (please see here [6]) recently turned to a possibly copyright violation by commons user; specifically this file in commons ([7]). As I have no idea about copyright in Japan, I would appreciate some help in this matter. Regards.--MarshalN20 (talk) 18:37, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

The issue seems to have been solved at the en.Wikipedia talk page. No need to worry about this request. Thanks!--MarshalN20 (talk) 13:27, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Are these files permitted here? In this court ruling, it was found that photographs of two different chair models violated the copyright of the chair designer. These clothes look a lot more complex than the chair models, so I'm suspecting that the clothes are copyrighted by the tailors. In most cases, the clothes seem to be more important to the images than the people wearing the clothes, so the clothes aren't de minimis either (but note exceptions such as File:Frédéric Urek, éditeur des éditions Delcourt (14690636754).jpg). I have not seen any French court rulings about clothes, but I would assume that such court rulings exist, and France seems to grant copyright protection to more or less everything. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:34, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanks to all who keep this thing going

Q: can I get my Mum to paint a version of:
and upload it on commons?
I've already tried asking the copyright holders if I can use their version but they declined.
The original is from Tudor times but the only images available is the apparently rendered of touched up image shown and the following commons image:
advice is much appreciated Gregkaye (talk) 22:52, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

I think if a painting is based on a copyrighted work, it's a derivative of that work and the copyright holder of the original work would also have a copyright interest in the painting. However I don't know anything about the origin of that particular image and whether it has a valid copyright. It wouldn't if it was just a copy of a public domain image, but if it was modified it may be copyrightable. I would be best to find an old public domain version of the image and base any new work on that. --ghouston (talk) 01:31, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Gregkaye -- generally in heraldic matters, the textual Blazon is authoritative, and many artistic renderings corresponding to the blazon can all be considered correct, and an artist who creates a new rendering of a coat of arms based on the blazon owns the copyright to his particular rendering. However, that may not fully apply here... AnonMoos (talk) 18:03, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Useful articles, US versus foreign copyright, and Commons policy

Recent discussions and comments have indicated that there are jurisdictions outside the US in which non-artistic utilitarian items can be copyrighted, even though such "useful articles" are not copyrighted in the US. (From what one can tell, France and Sweden are among the countries where utilitarian articles can be copyrighted, but the US and Japan and the UK are not.) It would be useful to clarify the following: For Commons, is the issue of accepting photos of non-artistic utilitarian articles due to the situation where a useful article from Sweden (for example) could be copyrighted in its country of origin (Sweden) even if not copyrighted in the US and therefore in contradiction to the Commons policy that works be freely licensed or uncopyrighted, at minimum, in the US and their country of origin?

Another question: If a site operates only under US law, such as the English language Wikipedia, then would it be permissible for such a site to host photos of non-artistic utilitarian items even if the items are from a country where useful articles are copyrighted, assuming that the items fall within US copyright's exclusion of "useful articles"? --Gazebo (talk) 04:41, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Commons policy says that all pictures must be free in the source country as well as the United States. I do not see any exceptions at COM:L for utilitarian objects.
English Wikipedia uses a few copyright tags such as w:Template:FoP-USonly, w:Template:PD-ineligible-USonly and w:Template:PD-US-1923-abroad, which allow pictures which are free in the United States but not in the source country. I would assume that the same rule applies for images of utilitarian objects. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:33, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
There are quite a few files hosted under FOP exceptions that would not be free in the US. Saffron Blaze (talk) 18:15, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Does "FOP exceptions" refer to FOP for artwork or for architecture? US FOP does not extend to artwork, but the current policy is to allow photos of artwork if covered by FOP in the country where the photo was taken; this policy does seem to be an exception of sorts to the requirement of "freely licensed in the source country and the US." There was a RFC discussion about the issue and photos of copyrighted artwork covered by FOP in the source country are sometimes tagged with {{Not-free-US-FOP}} as an advisory.
For architectural works, from what one understands, photos of buildings in countries with no FOP for architecture (such as France) can not be hosted on Commons but can be hosted on the English Wikipedia with a license tag such as {{FoP-USonly}} if the photo itself is freely licensed. In any case, it is easy for Commons contributors to not fully understand the details of copyright law (which is not a simple topic itself) and to unintentionally upload photos that violate Commons policies and/or copyright law. --Gazebo (talk) 19:02, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Commons makes exceptions for FOP. Firstly because images published under FOP are not completely free, since you can't make certain derivative works such as 3D reproductions of the original object (I've also seen the theory that you can't make any derivative works at all, only the original photograph is covered by FOP). Secondly the exception that photos of foreign artworks are allowed to remain, even if they would not be allowed under US copyright law. --ghouston (talk) 23:06, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

ESA's pictures of Churyumov-Gerasimenko...

... are under copyright and cannot be used here. What if one takes one of several of these photos, taking the data to make a drawing? --Küchenkraut (talk) 12:28, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

It depends on what you mean by "data". If you create an original work based only on data in the sense of measurements distributed by ESA, then all is well. If, however, you create a derivative work based on a copyrighted non-free work (represented as image data), then you cannot distribute it or issue a valid copyright license for it without the copyright holder's permission. LX (talk, contribs) 18:22, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Would someone there be able to look at this photo. I uploaded it from Flickr, but the Flickr user credits someone named "Phillip M. Kemp". I tried to find this photo online in some copyrighted place, but couldn't find it. I hate breaking copyright and hope someone else may have a moment to double check. Thanks! Magnolia677 (talk) 01:03, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Bollywood Hungama images

Recently i'm concerned about Bollywood Hungama images. According to Ticket:2008030310010794 we can use "Bollywood Hungama parties and events" photos only if they are photographed by their own photographers. My question is, how do we know that a specific photo is created by their own photographer since their is no comment like 'this image is created by us'. Now, this parties and events photographs has two things, some of them are watermarked and some of them are not. We don't need to worry about watermarked images but some photos (without watermarking) belong to Bollywood Hungama exist on different websites with larger version (for an example, File:AmeeshaPatel.jpg and google search result). Did they really belongs to Bollywood Hungama? I think, only water marked images are created by their own photographers because there is no other way of understanding their own pictures without this approach. In this case, we've to upload only watermarked images. ~ Nahid Talk 20:06, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

BTW, just to be clear: most of the larger photos from that Google search are slightly different from the one at Bollywood Hungama. However, this one linked at [8] is the full-length portrait of which Bollywood Hungama shows a crop. These two are from the same common original. Lupo 20:48, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
...and only from the "parties and events" section. At least that's what I understood when we discussed this a while back. I find this Bollywood Hungama license highly unclear. Lupo 20:23, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

How does Commons FOP policy interpret photos of this tower?

The source country of a tower is normally the country where the tower is located (in this case Iran).

This tower is not located in a Berne Convention member state. The architect is a citizen and resident of Canada (a Berne Convention member state). According to the Berne Convention, this means that the source country of the tower is Canada.

According to Commons policy, pictures should be free in both the source country and the United States. For source country, do we use the source country of the building (Canada) or the country of photography (Iran), or do we demand that the pictures must be free in both countries? Pictures of this tower are obviously fine in both the United States and Canada, but not in Iran. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:17, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

I think the Commons policy refers to the country where the photograph was taken. There are plenty of other examples of photos taken by visitors to other countries and first published on Commons, but I've never before seen any suggestion that the citizenship of the photographer is considered important. --ghouston (talk) 23:31, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
See the Berne Convention, Article 5 (4) (c). The rules are a bit different when non-members (such as Iran) are involved. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:04, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
But isn't it the case that the Commons policy has nothing to do with legal requirements, which only require following US laws? --ghouston (talk) 03:48, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Commons policy is that all files have to be free in both the United States and the source country. Pictures of buildings are free in the United States regardless of where they are located (see e.g. w:Template:FoP-USonly). --Stefan4 (talk) 13:30, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, so it's Commons policy that determines what is meant by "source country", not the Berne Convention, so I'd say in this case it would be Iran, and the copyright laws of Canada are irrelevant. --ghouston (talk) 23:10, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Although I suppose you could argue it the other way too, but do think "source country" for Commons purposes refers to the location of the building. --ghouston (talk) 23:14, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Note that while Hossein Amanat is now a dual citizen (Canada and Iran), he did not leave Iran until eight years after this structure was built, so I don't see how we can stretch the country of origin to be Canada -- the copyright was in place long before there was any Canadian involvement. However, since there is an open DR at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Azadi Monument.jpg may I suggest that this discussion continue there? .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 15:08, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Own Work?

Here is one example of hundreds from the same author: File:Bahnkarte_Isartalbahn.jpg. The author explains: Own work (in German: "Eigenes Werk"), "using this sheet of the General Map of Central Europe from the 3rd Military Mapping Survey of Austria-Hungary". Actually, the author has seemingly only marked the railway line. He shows the original public domain map with expired copyright protection after slight modifications under new cc​​-license. Is it ok to mark this as own work under new cc-license?

Link to German discussion (no reaction): Commons:Forum#Eigenes_Werk.3F

See (United States Copyright Office): "As a result, it is not possible to extend the length of protection for a copyrighted work by creating a derivative work. A work that has fallen into the public domain, that is, a work that is no longer protected by copyright, is also an underlying “work” from which derivative authorship may be added, but the copyright in the derivative work will not extend to the public domain material, and the use of the public domain material in a derivative work will not prevent anyone else from using the same public domain work for another derivative work."

This is from a government agency. What does the community think about it? (Text edited for better readability.)--RöntgenTechniker (talk) 15:43, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

If somebody modifies a public domain work, and their modifications cross the threshold of originality so that they are eligible for copyright, then as far as I know the copyright on the derived work will last for the usual term. Of course their modifications have no effect on the original work, which is still in the public domain. So I the only potential problem I see with the copyright claim is whether tracing a line on a map is sufficiently original to justify a new copyright. These rules seem to be a grey area which differ by country, and for Commons purposes the file is acceptable in any case since a CC licence is provided. --ghouston (talk) 23:18, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that the same author has already asked for that file:Karte_Offshore-Windkraftanlagen_in_der_Deutschen_Bucht.png by a user for permission to use it in a public lecture. And has not been given permission. However, the alleged creation as his own and CC license allows its use only with attribution of all authors, virtually impossible and legally may not be required.--RöntgenTechniker (talk) 13:48, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
How do you know Chumwa denied the permission to use that map? I cannot see that this really happened. --Alexrk2 (talk) 16:52, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Insertion: He has a request therefore and this left unanswered for two weeks, though otherwise active: , --RöntgenTechniker (talk) 19:26, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
That one looks to be very different. It seems the user added a lot of elements to the base map in that case. He credited the source of the data, but the depiction in the map itself appears to be theirs at first glance, which would absolutely be copyrightable. The raw location data itself is not directly relevant to the map copyright; it may differ by country whether there is any protection to that, though obviously it's usually best to credit them. It seems OpenStreetMap was the base map, so that needs to be credited, and the windmill graphic was listed as public domain so its author technically does not need to be mentioned (for copyright purposes) but it probably should be done for moral rights. I don't see how permission can be denied to use it in a public lecture though, unless the lecturer did not want to use it under the terms of CC-BY-SA and was seeking a separate license. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:54, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
In the U.S., I'm virtually certain the addition would not be enough to warrant an additional copyright (see this case). I'm not as familiar with the German standard, so no real idea there. At the very most though, the copyright would cover that exact yellow line and nothing more. Someone else could highlight the same map with their own yellow line and it would not be an infringement. It would be an extremely narrow copyright, if it existed. I would guess it would not cross the threshold in most (if not all) countries. But, in the case that some country somewhere actually would rule that as copyrightable, the explicit license could in theory help re-users in that country. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:54, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
If someone has the opinion, that a certain work has no TOO, he is free to ignore the CC license and re-use the work as PD at his own risk. On the other hand, if we (Commons) would decide about TOO of uploaded works, we would have a bunch of legal risks. --Alexrk2 (talk) 16:52, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
And yet we do decide about TOO of uploaded works all the time, and there are many a logo we would have to delete if we didn't. Commons doesn't exist as a legal body, so has no legal risks. The WMF is offered no legal risks by any of our actions here as long as they follow any DCMA requests they get. Uploaders may in theory see risks but it doesn't really happen in practice.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:04, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
We decide all the time, when the choice is between ineligible in the source country and deletion (i.e. something is above the threshold, and we have no license). It's just that when the choice is between ineligible and a valid license, i.e. a keep either way, we may want to be conservative and keep the license, even though it's unlikely to be valid in many places, if that is what the uploader wants. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:55, 17 August 2014 (UTC)


Hi, I have some photos of signs - village sign, road sign for Cycleway and "freelance children" sign on farm. Can I upload these and which license is required? Thanks user:Diane.parkins — Preceding unsigned comment added by Diane.parkins (talk • contribs) 18:06, 17 August 2014‎ (UTC)

(Moved this question to the bottom. Lupo 19:02, 17 August 2014 (UTC))
@Diane.parkins: I assume you're talking about British Village signs. Those are OK; give your photo a free license (such as {{Cc-by-sa-3.0}}) and additionally place {{FoP-UK}} on the file page. Road signs (traffic signs) should in general be OK anyway, so cycleway signs should be fine, too; I don't think these are copyrighted at all; just give your photo a free license. As I have no idea what a "freelance children" sign might be I cannot make any statement about that. Lupo 19:21, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
{{FoP-UK}} doesn't apply to two-dimensonal works, such as signs. If a sign contains copyrightable art work or lengthy text, it shouldn't be uploaded. --ghouston (talk) 23:42, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Those village signs are more like sculptures, though. Probably another grey area. --ghouston (talk) 23:43, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Right, and the UK has FoP for sculptures. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:21, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Ghouston, before I wrote my initial reply above I did look at the images in the article I linked, and also at Category:Village signs in England. Most of what I saw were either sculpture-like or other works of artistic craftsmanship such as this. We also seem to host quite a few 2D ones, such as File:Chale sign.JPG; most of these seem to be some large simple and most likely non-copyrightable text combined with some logo/image that may or may not be copyrighted or that might pass as de minimis. I've also seen some where the logo/image is more prominent, such as File:Whitwell Ventnor Road village sign during snow December 2010 3.JPG. That last one might definitely be in a gray area. But in general, those British village signs appear to be OK. Lupo 07:09, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
@Diane.parkins: On the "freelance children" sign: just upload it, and then we'll see. If it's not OK, we'll just delete it again. I'm curious to see what a "freelance children" sign is. Lupo 07:15, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Potential misuse of POTY photo

This picture was used in the UK newspaper the Metro today (19 August) while reporting on these birds appearing the Isle of Wight. I recognised the image from Commons. The Metro image is credited to "REX". I've had a look around and it seems the Metro used this website as its source (image on right). The image has not been attributed to Pierre Dalous, but to "REX/Richard Kaminski". Has the image been misused by REX? I guess nothing can be done about this? Thanks. 08:41, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Only copyright holder can do anything. See Commons:Enforcing license terms. Jee 09:07, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
How unfortunate. Thanks for the reply. I added it to Category:Files reused by external parties out of compliance with licensing terms. 09:57, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Legally, only @Pierre Dalous can do something about it. However everything is not about doing legal action. I mean we (as individual volunteer or members of user groups, chapters, etc.) can spread the word and bring enought attention on this to make it stop. --PierreSelim (talk) 13:35, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Good; but will end up as the "exact opposite thing" what we did on the Macaca issue. :) Jee 14:16, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

I made a n attempt. Please check and correct if any errors. Honestly, I made a lot of cut and paste, so rewording is appreciated to avoid plagiarism. Jee 15:53, 19 August 2014 (UTC)


Every single file in the Category:Maps by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (some 193 of them) has a watermark which ammounts to free advertising for UN OCHA, the corporate author of all of these maps. Poeticbent talk 16:46, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

GFDL with disclaimers

Can {{GFDL-with-disclaimers}} be removed if {{GFDL}} is already present? --Ricordisamoa 18:06, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

No. If an image was moved from wikis that had a GFDL tag with disclaimers it has to be kept. Unless the original author changes it to a standard GFDL template. En wiki was affected for a specific timeframe and I remember to have seen this on it and ja as well.--Denniss (talk) 19:46, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Also keep in mind that you must use the correct disclaimer. You can't for example replace {{GFDL-en}} (English disclaimer) with {{GFDL-ja}} (Japanese disclaimer). It seems that someone has redirected {{GFDL-it}} to {{GFDL-en}}, which causes big problems for Italian images as {{GFDL-en}} doesn't contain a link to the Italian disclaimer... --Stefan4 (talk) 18:43, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Wrong, the text is just a translation of the generic disclaimer so it's valid to link to the english version. The GFDL-ja page was probably just kept to have a proper user link to ja wiki. --Denniss (talk) 20:08, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
That's not correct. Read the GFDL: "Preserve in that license notice the full lists of Invariant Sections and required Cover Texts given in the Document's license notice." If you modify the text in the disclaimer, for example by translating it to another language, then you are not preserving the disclaimer, but replacing it with a different disclaimer. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:19, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Images within a 1922 journal

I have a journal published in 1922 in Germany. It contains small reproductions of posters. Usually the death dates of the artists, when their names are known, are unknown and cannot be found.

Can I upload to Commons images that I take of pages in this journal? If so, what license?

Henrytow (talk) 21:14, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia is subject to US copyright law. Per Wikipedia:Non-U.S._copyrights#Four-point_test a journal published in 1922 in Germany is in the US public domain. Gaijin42 (talk) 02:44, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Probably not. They would be PD in the US, since they were published before 1923, meaning that they could be uploaded to the English Wikipedia (which I think just uses U.S. rules). Commons however also requires works to be PD in the country of origin. There is a provision for anonymous works to be copyrighted for 70 years from publication, but if a name is known, they are not anonymous and that term cannot be used. The death dates must be found. The German wikipedia might have (or did in the past) a 100-year rule-of-thumb that items like that older than 100 years might be OK, but those sound newer than that, and Commons does not use that rule anyways. There is a practical point where a work is old enough to assume the author is virtually certain to have died more than 70 years ago, but that would not be the case for something published in 1922. If some of the posters are dated much older (say at least 120 years old but there's no hard rule), they may be more likely to be OK. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:38, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Images which are uncopyrighted in the US but copyrighted in their country of origin should be hostable on the English Wikipedia. For such images, it may be useful to use the {{PD-1923-abroad}} license tag or the {{PD-1923-abroad|XXXX}} tag for images which will enter the public domain in their country of origin in the year XXXX. (As a side note, for works first published outside the US, publication without a copyright notice may not constitute publication for US copyright purposes unless such publication was before July 1909.) --Gazebo (talk) 06:45, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Note that German law has a somewhat odd definition of 'anonymous'. As far as I have understood, artworks created before 1 July 1995 are only 'anonymous' if they were published after the death of the anonymous author (but within 70 years after the creation of the artwork), or if they satisfy {{PD-Germany-§134-KUG}}. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:40, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

This draft report states that medical imaging is not copyrightable on chapter 300 [9]. It is still in draft form. We have had issues with people deleting medical imaging in the past. Thus am posting here to increase awareness and hopefully decrease this from occurring. James Heilman, MD (talk) 19:11, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Please read Эlcobbola's response on the talk page. It seems this is an opinion by the Copyright Office, not necessarily supported by law. Huntster (t @ c) 23:56, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Of course it's supported by law; do you think the Copyright Office used a magic 8-ball to produce their reports? Whether or not a court would follow it is questionable, as is true of anything we rely on, but they do give discretion to the agency opinions like that.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:48, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Many of the examples at COM:TOO#United States are based on the opinion of the United States Copyright Office, as opposed to actual court rulings. The Copyright Office has lots of people who should know U.S. copyright law better than we do. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:18, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that; it's effectively a regulation (not law exactly, but it does have legal effect). And it's very explicit. The entire Compendium is guidance (for Copyright Office employees) to decide what is copyrightable and what is not, based entirely on copyright law and court decisions, so it's very much supported by law. In most cases, courts would have to rule that the Copyright Office abused its discretion, not simply that they were wrong. The most explicit section is the last one in Chapter 900; it doesn't leave much doubt. Unless we get a contrary court ruling, I would absolutely follow that guidance. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:25, 21 August 2014 (UTC) down for maintenance August 22-25

Search "The Copyright Office Online Public Catalog will not be available between 5:00pm U.S. Eastern Time on Friday, August 22 and 6:00am, Monday, August 25 while the Library performs maintenance." We hope (talk) 17:23, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Commons, Hewiki, and FoP

I recently nominated File:Georgia Guidestones.jpg for deletion as this sculpture is new enough to be still covered by copyright and the U.S. has no freedom of panorama for public sculpture (see the DR I opened as well as an earlier DR for details). I just noticed that a duplicate of this photo has subsequently been uploaded to Hewiki as he:File:The Georgia Guidestones Monument.png. Does Hewiki have some sort of exception where they allow the hosting of images that do not comply with FoP in the country where the subject of a photo is located, if the photo would be covered by FoP in Israel? (in this case, if the Georgia Guidestones were located in Israel instead of the U.S. this photo would almost certainly be eligible for {{FoP-Israel}}) However, I don't speak Hebrew, nor am I familiar with the policies of Hewiki. I tried to take a look at the Copyright FAQ at he:ויקיפדיה:זכויות יוצרים/שאלות ותשובות, and I think it suggests that he:File:The Georgia Guidestones Monument.png is eligible for deletion on Hewiki but I couldn't figure out enough of he:ויקיפדיה:מדיניות המחיקה to reliably determine how to nominate a file for deletion on Hewiki (the process appears to differ from Enwiki, the only site whose deletion process I am familiar with besides Commons). Is there a Hebrew speaker here who can take a look at he:File:The Georgia Guidestones Monument.png and nominate it for deletion on Hewiki if it violates Hewiki policy? —RP88 (talk) 02:36, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Hep with license for mugshot

I have requested help/clarification on the Help Desk, but received no attention so I am cross posting here.

This is a mugshot of Rick Perry, released to the public by the Travis County Sheriff. What is the correct license to use? Cwobeel (talk) 03:11, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

If you don't know why something is public domain, please don't upload it as such. As a general rule, governments that aren't the US Federal Government retain copyright on their works, with US law not recognizing such claims on laws, judicial opinions, executive orders and the like. So this would still be under copyright.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:27, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

FoP Netherlands

Hi all reading Template:FoP-Nederland, the phrase "as long as the work is depicted as it is located in the public space." is causing me disquiet, along these lines to be truly free on Commons, works must be free to be remixed by third parties in any way. However this rider would seem to imply that we can only apply FoP to a work only if the derivative work created faithfully depicts the artwork as it is. So one could not for example photoshop graffiti onto it, create a derivative in which it is a different colour, or make it seem as if the work was located in a different location, i.e. no remixing, and no remixing is incompatible with Commons. Thoughts please?--KTo288 (talk) 17:56, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Commons makes an exception and accepts works relying on FOP, even though there are restrictions on what derivative works can be made. --ghouston (talk) 00:48, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't seem very clear exactly what kind of derivative works are permitted by FoP, if any, in any country, so this restriction from the Netherlands may not be very significant. However note that there's also "Where incorporation of a work in a compilation is concerned, not more than a few of the works of the same author may be included”. I guess Commons itself is such a compilation. --ghouston (talk) 01:40, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
The usual "faithful" clause is for moral rights -- you can't make alterations unless it's quite obvious to a viewer what those alterations are, lest someone think they are actually part of the original work and could affect the original author's reputation. As for the FoP part, remember the exception is that photographs etc. of the object are allowed, so you can only make derivative works of that particular photograph. If you make a work that strays too far from the original photograph, then you are making a direct derivative work of the original underlying work (not just the photograph), and are no longer necessarily protected by FoP. It's really not a reason to prohibit the photographs we can otherwise use; there are lots of valid uses of such photos. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:59, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Of more possible significance is the restriction that "Where incorporation of a work in a compilation is concerned, not more than a few of the works of the same author may be included.” If, as Ghouston previously mentioned, Commons itself constitutes a "compilation" (or, for that matter, one or more of the categories on Commons could constitute "compilations,") could there be an issue given that the uploading of works in reliance on Netherlands FOP probably does not take into account the number of works from any given artist or other author? Perhaps someone who is familiar with Dutch copyright law can elaborate as to how Netherlands FOP applies to Commons. (On the other hand, Commons currently allows photos of artwork covered by FOP overseas even though there is uncertainty as to whether foreign FOP for artwork would apply in the US where Commons is hosted.) --Gazebo (talk) 11:03, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
What does "a few" (enkele in Dutch) mean anyway? I don't know what they are thinking when they write these laws, why don't they just say "five" or something? It does refer to a few of the artist's works, so it seems to be fine to have countless photos of any particular work, as long as only a few such works are included. Deciding which of an artist's works should be included in Commons would be an interesting discussion on each artist individually. --ghouston (talk) 23:45, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
You could argue that Commons could ignore the restriction on "a few" of the works, since as a US publication it doesn't need to follow Netherlands rules, and this particular rule doesn't prevent individual files from being used in the Netherlands. But under US rules, only buildings are included in FoP, not art works, so you'd end up with collections that violate copyright law in both countries. --ghouston (talk) 00:07, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Not really, though. That aspect has no bearing on this particular work and its copyright status. I doubt that Commons would count as a compilation; it is more of a database, which is different. There is no creativity in either the selection of works (we want anything which is educational and OK from a copyright perspective), nor its arrangement (it's a database, and the EU has different, sui generis protection for those). The WMF itself would be the defendants, so it would be up to them how to handle it if something actually came up. There are always some restrictions on how you can use FoP photographs; this is just another type of restriction, but like the others I don't think it should mean we don't accept them at all. There are lots of valid uses of such photos. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:36, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Okay thanks for the input, I guess we can carry on as we have then until we are actually challenged on any one particular case, and for the WMFs lawyers to determine the merits or not at that time.--KTo288 (talk) 10:20, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Creative Commons, indie games, and cloning

Part of my wikiwork involves talking to indie video game developers about licensing some of their game assets to cc-by-sa or freer for use in video game articles (Category:Video game files uploaded by czar). The indie community has a recurring problem with video game clones, when another developer rips off their game idea and circulates the clone for free. The original devs tend to lack recourse with this, since gameplay is not copyrighted. The devs often ask me about their liability to clones before they donate assets to Commons so I wanted to pass along the question to those who know more about this than I do. Should indie devs not be donating certain types of content like app icons and logos, animated GIFs and videos, or certain screenshots or else invite liability with clones?

For instance, in the case of File:FEZ trial gameplay HD.webm, would a cloner be able to use the animation of the game's protagonist if attributed? Would the cloner be able to legally replicate the game as animated? (I'm assuming each of the individual frames are licensed under cc-by-sa with the video.)

And for one specific case, a dev told me that: "The only way we could counter attack the cloners and get them to change their app names or app icons (which were almost identical to our's) was by arguing that they were attempting to mislead our customers by mimicking our trade name and trade dress." Is this right, or do you have better advice? Are these types of needs incompatible with cc-by-sa? czar  03:52, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Releasing game assets under a CC license will almost certainly make it easier for other parties to reuse the assets in other works. (As a side issue, IANAL, but if (for example) party A releases noninfringing game assets under a CC license and party B reuses the assets in a game clone such that as a whole the clone violates the rights of party C, then party A should not be liable to party C for releasing the assets under a CC license.) If a game is licensed in its entirety under a CC license or a combination of the GPL plus one or more CC licenses then it may indeed be easier to produce clones than if the game was licensed under a proprietary license. For a given game, it might be possible for a game to incorporate CC-licensed assets (even CC-BY-SA) while having code (for example) that is not licensed in the same way. (Indeed, the question has come up before as to whether GPL-licensed code can be combined with CC-licensed graphical assets.) Another possibility is for the copyright holder of CC-licensed assets to release the assets under a CC license while also authorizing the use of assets in a game that is not as a whole licensed under a CC license. (The copyright holder of a work can make the work available under multiple licenses if they so choose.) A CC license applies specifically to copyright and does not grant any rights with regard to trademarks or trade dress; however, Creative Commons has indicated that using a CC license may be problematic for trademark rights.
On the issue of game clones, a case of possible interest is the Tetris clone "Mino" that was found to infringe copyright and trademark rights regarding the Tetris game. From what one understands, the copyright issue was not the game mechanics but a combination of visual aspects that were replicated in "Mino," including as the playfield dimensions, the "game over" screen wherein the pit fills to the top automatically, and the manner of rotating the blocks. There was also a trademark/trade dress issue with the "Mino" game using game pieces made from brightly-colored square blocks.
--Gazebo (talk) 04:59, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
@Gazebo, thanks. I'm more interested in the visual aspects than the GPL code since most developers I work with release their press kits under cc-by-sa. My question is whether I should encourage them to leave GIFs or video or icons/logos out of the licensed kit for any reason, if you have a suggestion. For example, if I were to make a game using the main character of the video linked above, would it be infringement with the option of legal recourse if that video was never licensed under cc-by-sa? Does that license give devs a weaker position when combatting cloned work? czar  16:29, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
If a press kit for a game is going to consist entirely (or almost entirely) of material that is CC-licensed, it may be possible to have the kit only contain a minimal amount of content from the game, in other words, not enough content to clone the entire game if the contents of the kit were to be reused. Also, if a game incorporates logos or distinctive visual elements that function as a trademark, it may be possible to emphasize that CC licensing of that content does not constitute a trademark license. (Along these lines, the Creative Commons FAQ says that it may be better not to license logos or other trademarks under a CC license; this other CC FAQ entry is also of interest.) --Gazebo (talk) 09:39, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Character animations

Can a character animation taken from a cc-by-sa-licensed gameplay video be used in another video game under cc-by-sa, effectively making the character cc-by-sa? @Gazebo czar  20:28, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Most likely yes. --Gazebo (talk) 10:30, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that would cause the character itself to be cc-by-sa, unless the animation was the original work which defined the character (and even then it would not cover any aspects of the character defined by later works). If there was enough material for a character copyright overall, a work using the animation might still be derivative of the (fully-copyrighted) character even though the animation itself is OK. It would mean the other video game would have to also be licensed cc-by-sa though. The full answer might depend a lot on the details though (how central is the character or animation to the other game, how much detail is copied, the nature of the use, etc. etc.).
Given a video game that is not licensed under a CC license, it could be possible for a user to record a gameplay session and then to license the video under a CC license. In such a situation, however, the user would not be able to apply the CC license to preexisting game material for which they were not the copyright holder. In addition, for the user to legitimately distribute their video recording, they might have to obtain permission from the copyright holder(s) for the game unless it was a case where the reuse of the game material within the video was to fall within US fair use or another copyright exception. If a third party wanted to further reuse or redistribute the CC-licensed game recording, they would most likely have to follow both the CC license and any copyright restrictions on the game material itself. --Gazebo (talk) 12:14, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Neither or both

These two DRs had different outcomes upon very similar, if not identical, copyright situations:

Same country (Portugal), similar type of authorship (original work by author deceased in 1998 vs. the same by living author), similar artwork technique and display type (glazed tile panels vs. marble inlaid ceramic), identical access conditions (public transportation concourses, available to any ticket carrying passenger within operation hours). Why the different DR outcome? -- Tuválkin 09:00, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Maybe those listed at Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Travel Photo Guy should not be restored, Commons:FOP#Portugal seems to apply, would like a native to clarify what "public place" means; for example in Spain (and a lot of other non-English Law derived FOP countries) it has to be outdoors. LGA talkedits 23:41, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
Some one needs to check this as to if the law covers 2d works; only "architecture or sculpture" are listed in the law so it is not clear if 2d works are covered. LGA talkedits 23:56, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
I was thinking the same, but inclining to argue for an undeletion of Files uploaded by Travel Photo Guy: These photos show the tilepanel in such a way that they could be mistaken for illustrations in a book or in posters, not something permanently cemented to a wall. If subway station underground corridors and atria are okay as a «public place» for these, then earthwork retention walls in railway station covered platform concourse are also okay for those (same city, same country, same FoP).
In Portuguese "local público" means simply "public location" — not especifically outdoors nor indoors. I expect legal text to be quirky in defining what "public" means (hence my doubt concerning access restricted to ticker carriers) but not to the extent that outdoorsness is implied with no need for additional wording in that regard.
I have however no experience about copyright law, not my country’s or any others, and I really should leave copyvio reporting for those who have expertise on the matter or who enjoy it. Either way, these two decisions need to harmonized according to the same interpretation of the law text — I hope the outcome can be undelete for the deleted and confirmed keep for the kept. -- Tuválkin 00:06, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I am of the view that unless someone can show otherwise, a station is a "public location" and would have filed a request over at COM:UNDEL but for the question of 2d vs 3d works, as I said above the law only mentions "architecture or sculpture" as being allowed, as both are examples of 3d art and a tile panel is a 2d art form we need that part clarified and absent any clarification the result of Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Metro station Aeroporto (Lisboa) may need to be reversed. LGA talkedits 00:33, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
  • In the former Swedish copyright law, it was implied from the words "public place" that the place must be outdoors. In 1961, several copyright laws were replaced by a new copyright law, and the notion that the place must be outdoors has since then been explicitly stated. The laws of other countries might imply that a public place must be a place outdoors, but this probably varies from country to country. Different countries have different legal standards. In Sweden, it is not so important to know exactly how the law is worded, and you should instead mainly consider what the lawmaker meant when writing the law, and you must therefore also consider background literature such as prepositions to the parliament in order to know exactly how to interpret the law. In the United States, law seems to a greater extent than in Sweden to be about pointing fingers at the lawmaker, saying "haha, too bad you can't spell" if you find a typo in the law. I don't know how Portuguese law works. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:50, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
  • There's some element of legislative intent in American law. But we had perfect legislative noble intent in law some 4000 years ago, then they erected stuff like Hammurabi's stela, so people knew what the laws were without reading the legislative mind. The law should be designed so people can easily and correctly understand what laws bind them, not so that the legislature doesn't have to worry about making clear its intent.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:56, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Are copyrighted images embedded within pdf files allowed on Commons?

At Commons:Deletion requests/File:Multimedia Vision 2016.pdf, Mike Peel (talk · contribs) covered the copyrighted images with the caveat that the files remain embedded in the .pdf file, and acknowledges "the blanking can be easily undone". Although the quote is "blanking", a more accurate description would be 'covering'. From this freely licensed image, using only Adobe Reader, I am able to make a free content derivative of copyrighted material. Would someone versed in dealing with copyright please take a look? Are we now allowing fair use images on Commons, as long as they are embedded in a .pdf and covered (but still present)? 2607:FB90:2205:5CC8:BCB3:3A37:690A:7237 06:52, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

The problem should now be fixed - please can you check the new version I've uploaded with Adobe Reader to see whether this is the case or not? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 07:29, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
The method I'm using has now been updated, such that the copyrighted image should definitely have been removed - see User:Mike Peel/PDF redaction. Hopefully this should have resolved the anon editor's concerns. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 08:48, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

People in the pub

I have taken a picture of a pub interior. In this picture there are people with faces. What is a proper way to share this picture on Commons? Picture taken in the Czech Republic.--Juandev (talk) 07:49, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

@Juandev: See Commons:Photographs of identifiable people and Commons:Country_specific_consent_requirements#Czech_Republic: Looks like you can't upload them unless all people in the picture(s) that can be identified give you their permission. If you have their permission, use {{Consent}}. --El Grafo (talk) 08:41, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

So, what about to blur their faces?--Juandev (talk) 09:02, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi Juandev, this depends on context. We don't really want lots of photographs on Commons with blurred faces, it starts to be a bit paranoid. If the group in the pub were happy to be photographed (i.e. you stood there with a very visible camera and everyone was posing) there there is little doubt that this was neither a candid camera event, nor could be considered intrusive. Examples of deleted photographs for intrusion might be people eating a meal in a public place that were unaware that someone was about to take a photo, and was capturing them stuffing a giant pie in their face, or people scantily clothed on the beach who might be unaware of someone in the nearby dunes with a zoom lens as a reasonable expectation of privacy is likely to overrule freedom of panorama. So, a lot of this is your statement rather than black and white copyright law; if these are people who know you, then then is unlikely to be any issue, other situations might result in deletion discussions.
P.S. De minimis is a useful reference if people's faces are not the main focus of the photograph and they are both the general public and any individual is in relatively low resolution were their face to be cropped out from a photo. -- (talk) 09:20, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

OK. Thx for the further explanation.--Juandev (talk) 06:44, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Is this condition compliant with commons licenses?

I'd like to get the community feedback about this license. It's popular among some organizations within the government of Spain and I don't know whether its is compliant or not.

It can be found here, here or here. It reads as follows:

Se autoriza la reproducción total o parcial de los contenidos del Portal, siempre que se cite expresamente su origen público.

The full or partial reproduction of the contents of this Portal is allowed provided that its public origin (or source) is specifically stated.

That is, it requires that its public origin (meaning that it has been created by government department or agency) has to be stated. Is it compliant? Is it equivalent to any CC license? Best regards --Discasto talk | contr. | analysis 21:45, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

I can't read the whole thing, but that's basically an attribution rule, so no big deal.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:36, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, in fact, what I've seen in other files uploaded to commons from these sites has been {{its public origin (or source) is specifically stated.}}
I have to notice that, however, IMHO it seems a little bit different from a mere "attribution". It goes further as its "public" status has to be stated and I don't know whether it's "basically an attribution rule". --Discasto talk | contr. | analysis 21:28, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

uploading a video clip from Facebook

I've uploaded to wikipedia a video I found on facebook (File:British Forces former commander testified about IDF actions in a combat zone.ogv). I don't know what to write on the Licensing part. please help. Day26013 (talk) 21:44, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

This looks like a TV grab. Regards, Yann (talk) 03:27, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Couldn't find any clear information on that. still don't know what exactly should I write/I use Day26013 (talk) 14:45, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
If the source is UN Watch, the original release appears to be here. The video is hosted on youtube under the Standard Youtube License, a Commons-incompatible license. So, if they are indeed the original source of the footage, then there's nothing you can do. –⁠moogsi (talk) 02:21, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

file from Flickr

Dear friends,

Is it allowed to upload this file to Commons?

Female Figurine 3400-2750 BCE

It has a CC licence, but I'm not sure it's the right one.

All the best, Y-barton (talk) 02:30, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

This is a non-commercial license, so not good enough for Commons. Regards, Yann (talk) 03:23, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for clarification, Yann! Y-barton (talk) 14:56, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

No author name

when referring to an image which has no author name is it right to refer to user name instead of author? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 20:15, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

No, it's better to put "{{Unknown|author}}" as the value for the |author= parameter in the {{Information}} template. — SMUconlaw (talk) 12:37, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
If you have an image uploaded by a user who has not give their name, it is appropriate to use their user name for attribution.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:08, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Does FOP apply to artwork on vehicles?

Currently, Commons accepts photos of artwork that is covered by FOP (freedom of panorama) in the country where the photo was taken. An issue that would be useful to address is whether FOP applies when artwork is permanently attached to the outside of a vehicle (i.e. a car, train, ship, or airplane) that publicly travels to different locations, such as a Red Bull campaign car, as opposed to being permanently installed in a fixed location. (Presumably, artwork temporarily attached to the outside of a vehicle would likely not be covered by FOP.)

Another issue: If FOP was to apply to artwork permanently attached to a vehicle, would it make a difference if the vehicle and the artwork were originally from one country but happened to be within a different country when the photo was taken? --Gazebo (talk) 12:41, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

I think not, most FOP's require the work to be permanently located in the public place (as far as I can recall only North Korea has a FOP that lacks the permanently located requirement), a car is very rarely permanently located anywhere except perhaps when in a museum display. None of the Red Bull campaign car images appear to be permanently located. LGA talkedits 22:20, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Also Mexico apparently. In many countries, FoP only applies to buildings and/or sculptures. --ghouston (talk) 00:04, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

I'd like to upload the picture of a postcard from this page to illustrate the Wikipedia article w:1906 Dundee fire, but I'm finding UK copyright laws confusing and I'd rather ask for help than risk making a mistake. The postcard was created in 1906, and more details are included on the page I linked to. Is the picture public domain yet? —Mr. Granger (talk  · contribs) 17:33, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

It depends on if the postcard indicated who the author is. If the actual human person is named or identifiable, then it would expire 70 years after they died. If there is no indication at all, it should be PD and can be marked with {{PD-UK-unknown}} (and {{PD-1923}} for the US side of things). Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:06, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the guidance. The postcard doesn't seem to indicate the identity of the artist, so I'll upload it with {{PD-UK-unknown}}. —Mr. Granger (talk  · contribs) 16:16, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Propose to update CC license tags to comply with the new wordings in CC deeds

I'm proposing this matter here per the advice of ChrisiPK at AN.

As we all know, CC had updated all of their license deeds after the release of CC 4.0 licenses. It is to educate the licensees (and licensors too) about the legal terms by highlighting them more promptly. And, we can see some terms like "remix", "work", "file" are not perfectly conveying the copyright terms. So CC changed them to "adapt", "material" to satisfy all types of works, means and medium we are using.

There is also a warning about the third party rights (like publicity, privacy and moral rights) that may limit the reuse. Our current practice is to add specific tags on individual files, which is time consuming and not perfect as we can't check all files.


Marking your work with a CC license "Example: Image"
Choose a license
Best practices for attribution
Best Practices for Creative Commons attributions
Creative Commons Attribution For Photos

So I propose to update the layout templates:

Extended content
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons <license name with link to deed> license."Foo" <title of the work with link to URI> by Real name ( <attribution parameter provided in author field with a link to user page> is licensed under a <license name with link to deed> license.
You are free:You are free to:
to share - to copy, distribute and transmit the workShare — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
to remix – to adapt the workAdapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
Under the following conditions:Under the following terms:
attribution – You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
share alike – If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same or compatible license as the original.ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.
This deed highlights only some of the key features and terms of the actual license. It is not a license and has no legal value. You should carefully review all of the terms and conditions of the actual license (link to legal code) before using the licensed material.

Current tag (CC BY lacks the ShareAlike clause):

w:en:Creative Commons
attribution share alike
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Attribution: Real name (
You are free:
  • to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
  • to remix – to adapt the work
Under the following conditions:
  • attribution – You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • share alike – If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same or compatible license as the original.
Extended content

Option 1 Proposed tag (CC BY lacks the ShareAlike clause):

"Foo" by Real name ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
You are free to:
  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
Under the following terms:
  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
  • No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.
  • This deed highlights only some of the key features and terms of the actual license. It is not a license and has no legal value. You should carefully review all of the terms and conditions of the actual license before using the licensed material.

Option 2 Proposed tag including all terms in the deed as suggested below (CC BY lacks the ShareAlike clause):

"Foo" by Real name ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
You are free to:
  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
for any purpose, even commercially.
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.
Under the following terms:
  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
  • You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.
  • No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.
  • This deed highlights only some of the key features and terms of the actual license. It is not a license and has no legal value. You should carefully review all of the terms and conditions of the actual license before using the licensed material.

Option 3 Proposed tag without a "title" (CC BY lacks the ShareAlike clause):

This work by Real name ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available here.
You are free to:
  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
for any purpose, even commercially.
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.
Under the following terms:
  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
  • You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.
  • No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.
  • This deed highlights only some of the key features and terms of the actual license. It is not a license and has no legal value. You should carefully review all of the terms and conditions of the actual license before using the licensed material.

Option 4 Proposed tag (CC BY lacks the ShareAlike clause):

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
Attribution: Real name (
You are free to:
  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
Under the following terms:
  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

Option 5 Proposed tag (CC BY lacks the ShareAlike icon):

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
Attribution: Real name (

Option 6 Proposed tag without a "title" (CC BY lacks the ShareAlike clause):

This media by Real name ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
You are free to:
  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
for any purpose, even commercially.
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.
Under the following terms:
  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
Additional details
  • You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.
  • No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.
  • This deed highlights only some of the key features and terms of the actual license. It is not a license and has no legal value. You should carefully review all of the terms and conditions of the actual license before using the licensed material.

Extended content



Welcome to any suggestions. Jee 07:40, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

The layout of this proposal is confusing, it took me a few minutes to work out that this was a "from existing text" to "new text" proposal with them side by side. Adding to the confusion is that this appears to be trying to do all variations of Commons allowed CC licences in one go. I suggest the "from" and "to" texts are side by side in a wiki table and that each licence, or each licence component in CC0, CC-BY, CC-BY-SA are made clear rather than bundling. To go the extra mile, I suggest creating the new draft licences in a sandbox and linking to them here, so that the end result can be seen as it will appear on an image page. -- (talk) 08:21, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Those license tags are so complicated; so difficult to understand for an ordinary volunteer. Probably Multichill can help. All tags of version 1.0 to 4.0 except CC 0 use that same components. CC BY doesn't use the "ShareAlike" part. I didn't look on NC as it is out of my interest. Will try to improve the presentation. Jee 08:33, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
@: Hope ✓ Done. Jee 09:42, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't like the bolding of the links in the explanations …    FDMS  4    18:17, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Bolding can be avoided if links can be highlighted by a separate color or any other means. Jee 02:41, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Links are generally highlighted in blue …    FDMS  4    08:03, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I would clearly prefer to use a more grammatically correct presentation (like Wikimedia Commons does currently) than a BuzzImportantWordInCamelCase (like ShareAlike) terminology (like the new proposal offer to uniformize with Creative Commons text). --Dereckson (talk) 20:14, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Use of separate words than in the legal code will affect the legal validity in case of disputes. Jee 02:41, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

I just noticed that the links in the icons on the current tags are not working. It seems link= only works if full URI is provided. Jee 03:53, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

This looks like a useful improvement and brings our CC4 template in line with their deed.

  • I'm not clear how the ""Foo" by Real name ( " bit works. Could someone give examples for Commons-sourced files and perhaps indicate if e.g., Flickr-sourced files would be done differently.
  • I like how "This file is licenced" has been dropped since CC have admitted they don't consider any of their licences to be file-based [something to consider changing in earlier templates too, but that's for another day].
  • I don't think the "You are free to" or "Under the following terms" should be in bold, nor the links.
  • I think "Notices" should better be titled "Caveats", since that's what they are.
  • The "No warranties are given" sentence should best link to the Commons:General disclaimer.
  • The CC4 deed also has "for any purpose, even commercially." and "The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms". These are both important points and I don't see why we should miss them out.
  • I don't see why our "deed", if that is what this is, needs to link to CC's deed in the word "deed". It is just confusing to read "This dead" which contains a link to something else. Since ours is nearly the same, we've made theirs redundant and so re-users would be best jumping straight to the full licence text.

-- Colin (talk) 07:21, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

  • @Colin: Thanks for the review.
  • 1. "Foo" by Real name ( is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
I had spend a lot of time to understand the "marking" and "attributing" procedure. "A good rule of thumb is to use the acronym TASL, which stands for Title, Author, Source, License." It covers all the necessary information for attributing a licensed material (work). I understand your question as "original source" of third party uploads are different. In that case we may consider to add the source parameter too as in the Media Viewer. Then it will look like "Foo" by Real name ( (Own work/external source) is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
Note that we try to provide attribution parameters through various ways (Creditline, attribution= in license tag, etc. But I noticed that external sites like only look into the author= field in Commons.)
  • 2. This update will affect all CC tags except CC 0 as this edit request is on Template:CC-Layout.
  • 3 Done.
  • 4 Considerable if enough consensus (I'm not a native English speaker).
  • 5 Done.
  • 6 Considerable if enough consensus
  • 7 Done. Jee 09:18, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
On point 1, I still don't understand and need an example. Since this is a generated template, where would one get "Real name" or "" from. Please can you give a few examples from real Commons images. -- Colin (talk) 11:31, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
@Colin: Sure; you can see here how I provide attribution to the POTY winners.
1. Real name is given.
2. Only user name given.
4. Flickr user name, Flickr source, and name of adapter provided.
5 & 8. Real name with website link provided.
The template only need to look into author (and source for not {{Own}} if needed). Jee 14:03, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
 Support the text of {{Cc-by-4.0}} should match I did not check word by word the match of the proposed text with version but it should be close. The same goes with all the translations already done by CC. One concern I have is with "Foo": most photographs do not have titles and we should not expect people to title them, but should allow someone to add title if desired. I would also like to keep the suggested attribution part as a separate field. Incorporating it into sentence will cause trouble as people can put all kind of nonsense there making the sentence incomprehensible. Current approach isolates injected text so it is less of an issue. We should probably update Commons:Credit line. --Jarekt (talk) 16:19, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
@Jarekt: Thanks.
"Foo" is "file name without extensions" as followed in Media Viewer. If it is not practical, we can satisfy with "This Licensed Material".
"Incorporating it into sentence" is the "preferred" way suggested by CC in Best practices for attribution.
The second option is "Attribution: Photo by Example / CC BY-SA" as a second line as in current template. But the current problem is we only (most people) provide attribution as "author name" only. It gives the re user a false idea that only author name is required as attribution. In fact, attribution requires Title (optional), Author, Source, License. Jee 17:18, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the "attribution" statement might be misleading as it often only mentions author. Maybe we should update and expand Commons:Credit line and link to it (we might want to also rename it to something like Commons:License attribution). I do not think filename and title are equivalent: our filenames can be up to 240 bytes long and the only requirement are that they are unique. Many were chosen not by authors but by the uploaders, for example in case of flickr images (like all files here) --Jarekt (talk) 19:25, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I understand; and wonder how Media viewer handle this: <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Areca catechu nuts at Kadavoor.jpg" height="480" width="360"></a><br>"<a href="">Areca catechu nuts at Kadavoor</a>" by <a href="//" title="User:Jkadavoor">Jeevan Jose, Kerala, India</a> - <span class="int-own-work">Own work</span>. Licensed under <a href="" title="Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0">CC BY-SA 4.0</a> via <a href="//">Wikimedia Commons</a>.</p> displays "Areca catechu nuts at Kadavoor" by Jeevan Jose, Kerala, India - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Note that we need "title" or a word like "Photo" or "Media" at least to link it to the source. Further not that, according to CC this attribution may not be immediate visibility under the use. It can be in page footer, tail page of a book, or in a "credit page" especially created for that purpose alone in a website. In such cases, a meaningful tittle explains the media is the only way to associate them together. Jee 02:25, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

I got the ping. I still had this somewhere on my list. My main concern is that it's going to become some massive bulky template. The first prototype doesn't look promising at all. We should focus on getting a slick small template, not trying to teach copyright in a template. I'm inviting some of the WMF legal and design people to pitch in. Multichill (talk) 19:57, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

I'm aware of it. But my opposing arguments are:
If we use a small template just covering the first line, people use their own templates to convey the remaining parts.
We our self applying {{Personality}}, {{Trademarked}}, {{Consent}}, etc. in selected works with makes the page more bulky than this. Further, that practice is not perfect as we can't filter all such files easily from our collection.
I think educating people is more important than limiting the page size; if it leads to misuse, thus makes damage to our potential contributors.
I agree with you that sound review by a legal team is necessary before applying the change. I think Media Viewer team can help us. Pinging Keegan (WMF). Jee 02:40, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping, Jee. I'll have to read up on this and see how I can help pass it along, and to which part of the WMF, if appropriate. Pesky note: it's the Multimedia team ;) Keegan (WMF) (talk) 08:40, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Keegan (WMF). I know you're not from the legal but hope you get enough support from them. And it will be nice if the attribution requirement is provided in the same way in the "file page" and "Media Viewer". Otherwise it will add another confusion and annoying too. :)
What is your (team) opinion about "title" = "file name without extension"? It will be nice if we can add an extra field title= in {{Information}}. But we already have so many files. So I think adding it now is difficult? Jee 09:15, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
@Jkadavoor: : The Multimedia team opinion is that adding these fields isn't difficult, you can use a bot or a Lua module to take care of it. In the long run, looking at Wikidata integration, it might even be beneficial. Structured data=good data. So yeah, go for it if the community agrees. No problem from this end. As for the legal aspect, I've passed that along for someone else to look at since it's outside my purview. HTH. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 18:06, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Keegan (WMF); this is interesting. I think adding such a field to {{Information}} will be a great improvement. May be a bot can set the default value for all existing files as "file name without extension" so that authors can change it later if they wish so. @Jarekt: , Multichill, Jean-Frédéric... what do you think? ({{Specimen}}, etc. based on Photograph template have already has a field "title"; so it can be used.) Jee 02:07, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Many Artworks and artistic photographs have official titles, snapshots do not. As an uploader of a lot of photographs I think it would be pointless to title them and using a filename sounds like even worse idea: filenames were not designed to be titles they are only supposed to be unique. Welived for so long without titles for our photos why do we need them now? If I want a title to be mentioned in my cc license I will add it to the attribution string, since that what it was designed to do. Also you can always use {{Artwork}} or {{Photograph}} template if you need that field. But even there people are encouraged to use {{Title}} template or templates like Category:Multilingual tags: Title, which can be hard to fit in an attribution field. --Jarekt (talk) 02:59, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Jarekt: But how then people can specify source in the attribution? There is no need of a word if the image is hyper linked in a website or attribution is mentioned near the use. But it is not applicable for all cases. See, an e-book is published with 100 photos from Commons and attribution is provided altogether in the last page. Then it is better if we can "Common Lime Butterfly Papilio demoleus by Kadavoor" by Jeevan Jose...., "Acmella ciliata by Kadavoor" by Jeevan Jose...., etc than "Photo" by Jeevan Jose...., "Photo" by Jeevan Jose...., etc. It will be far better if we can mention better titles than "file names". ("Papilio demoleus at Kadavoor" is better).
If it is a paperback book, title is more meaningful. See "Common Lime Butterfly Papilio demoleus by Kadavoor" (Source: by Jeevan Jose...., "Acmella ciliata by Kadavoor" (Source: by Jeevan Jose.... Jee 03:19, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
But not everybody names their files that way. I always try to concatenate few fields: a place or source, subject or species, and some number to make it unique. Others pick names differently like for example File:I got my Honda Accord 1990 4 door 4 cylinder power windows power door lock run good engine and transmission good 120,000 miles do you want to contact me text me or call me 8608406395- 2014-05-28 20-07.jpg --Jarekt (talk) 13:51, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Jarekt, I understand; and some file names by bots are also very lengthy. So what about picking title from {{Credit line}} if provided, else from {{Title}} if provided, else use file name without extension as a compromise? (BTW, that example is com:ADVERT and need to be renamed. :)) Jee 14:37, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
I am fine with picking titles from license attribution string, {{Credit line}} or {{Title}}, but if those are not provided than I would assume the uploader did not wish to title his/her images, like I do not care about titles in all the images I uploded over the years. Creating default titles for others would need to be a bot job and I doubt it would be approved. But we can offer a service where people that want titles can request for them to be added to their files. --Jarekt (talk) 14:53, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Jarekt: Then what about using a word like "media" to link to the source if no {{Credit line}} or {{Title}}? The Media Viwers also need to to updated; as it is now using file name as title. I think they did it on the advice of Legal. So we need to consult them (legal) too? Jee 15:14, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
The Media Viwer is not suggesting attribution strings. I do not see any problem with it. I also do not see how is it related to the discussion about a license template. --Jarekt (talk) 15:45, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Jarekt: See this discussion. Media Viewer or any other third party automated tools need to pick the license and attribution string properly from our tags. A manual user can pick it even from data scattered in various locations. Jee 16:00, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Jarekt: While experimenting with [10], I found another option without title: "This work by <author name with url> is licensed under a <License name with url>. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at <source url>". Can we proceed this way? See Option 3. Jee 09:34, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
  •  Support the changes, but it would be good to include the "Licensor cannot revoke the licence" part in all the deeds here, and the CC Some Rights Reserved image on the left would look better using the version on our current commons deeds. --Graphium 07:16, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  • @Jkadavoor: Ok noted. Just adding one more suggestion. There should be a spacing between the "CC Some Rights Reserved" logo and the "Attribution" and/or "ShareAlike" buttons. The template appears better that way IMO. --Graphium 05:32, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
  •  Comment As far as I know, the CC-licenses also require the re-user to name the license the work is made available under. That's something we have always neglected for reasons I don't remember, but this seems like a good opportunity to re-think the issue and maybe put an additional notice into the templates. --El Grafo (talk) 08:50, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Thanks, Jee, I must admit I didn't notice that when I first looked through the proposal. All in all, it looks very reasonable to me. Are the wiki pages linked in the new template available in other languages than english? Couldn't find any direct links there … --El Grafo (talk) 15:03, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Any news on that? If there are no translations of that, we should think about other ways to make sure people know they have to name the license. (I think that's a very important part that has been neglected far too long). --El Grafo (talk) 09:28, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
  •  Comment I like the approach this is taking and have promoted these changes in the past. Our license templates should at a minimum contain all the things the relevent CC Deed does. BTW, the word Notices is bolded and need not be to create a common format. Otherwise bold the other section headings. When there is a final version it should be put up for a !Vote, not yet while discussion ensues. Saffron Blaze (talk) 15:54, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

I added a second example covering all CC terms in the deed. Note that I included the "exception" clause too under "notices". Jee 15:05, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

The advice of the legal team is requested, and LuisV (WMF) offered to help. Jee 06:27, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Files on Flickr have a headline and a description. The headline could arguably be a title, but is sometimes something useless such as "IMG1234.JPG". Should we interpret it as a title? --Stefan4 (talk) 00:08, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Be careful with how you use words such as "material" and "work" and how you name the rights holder. They have different definitions, and if the licence uses a different word than the template proposals above, this could have strange results in court. For example, the Swedish copyright law provides protection to the following kinds of material:
Kind of material Rights holder Explanation
Works Author A work is something which meets certain quality requirements, see COM:TOO. Parts of the quality requirements come from the notion that a work must be "created", and parts of them come from the word "work" itself. Split in two groups: "artworks" and "literary works", with different degrees of protection.
Performances Performing artist Only performances of literary works are protected, see "works" above. The performance itself doesn't need to meet any quality requirements. On Commons, this should only affect sound and video files.
Sound and video recordings Producer No quality requirements needed, but protection is only given to the first fixation. Mere duplication doesn't reset the term. Some recordings are also protected as works and/or performances.
Catalogues et cetera Producer See w:Database Directive.
Photographic images Producer It must be a photograph and it must be an image. Some photographs are also protected as works. No quality requirements needed, but it seems that only new photographic images are protected and that new copies of existing photographic images aren't separately protected. Strange applications of COM:DW, see e.g. NJA 1989 p. 315 (drawings based on photographs weren't copyright violations). Single frames in films count as photographs if created using a camera.

Stefan4 (talk) 00:08, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Stefan4. My understanding form the previous discussions with CC community is that they changed the word "Work" to "Licensed Material" to accommodate databases. (See [11], [12]).) They replaced the word in almost every places; but still using "work" in marking guides. I don't know whether it is an unnoticed error or not. I can see many such errors (like license text changed to CC BY 4.0; but links till to CC BY 3.0) in their sites. Reported to them; but doesn't get any reply so far. Jee 02:44, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, different versions of CC licences use different words. Use the word "work" in the templates for licences which license works, and use the word "material" in the templates for licences which license material. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:52, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
@Stefan4: But they (CC) changed the word "work" to "material" in all of their deeds, even in CC BY-SA 1.0. We need not compelled to follow them; but I wonder what they mean by such changes. Jee 17:05, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
That's strange. We should try to figure out why they did this. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:20, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
I believe the intent was to have a more generic term that would not depend on what is used in a specific jurisdiction, so that the license would be more robust across national boundaries and types of material. "work" can still be found in the body of the license itself, as part of the definition of "Licensed Material" in 4.0: "the artistic or literary work, database, or other material to which the Licensor applied this Public License".
I'm not sure I would have made this change to the older deeds, but it is important to keep in mind that in the situations where the work/material distinction is legally important, the legal code, not the deed, is likely to be what is getting read/interpreted. So being consistent and easy-to-understand is arguably more important than being legally precise in this particular situation. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 00:37, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
By the way, with smart templates we could avoid this problem by saying "image", "video", "recording", etc. (depending on mimetype) instead of "work" or "material". This would be more clear for most non-lawyer users and not bother the lawyers (since they'd read the full license anyway). CC is stuck using generic words, but we don't have to be. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 16:39, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes. Or we can use the word "media" to cover all of our contents (if a mimetype check is not practical)? Jee 17:16, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
@Stefan4: @Jkadavoor: @LuisV (WMF): "Material" was used because the license is not always being applied to the entirety of what most people would consider a "work", and sometimes what the license is applied to isn't considered a work of authorship. So yes, databases—not generally considered works of authorship, but are "licensed material"; other things that don't strictly fall under the definition of "work" in a jurisdiction but include rights that are licensable under CC licenses might also count. But also it is more accurate in the case where only certain elements are being released under the CC license—only an excerpt from a book, only the music from a video, only the content from a website but not its copyrightable design elements. You could still accurately call these "works" (the wording on the older licenses isn't wrong in these cases) but it is confusing to people who see that the license applies to the work and don't know that "work" may be defined to be a smaller subset of the more obvious thing. We chose "material" not only to be more broadly inclusive but to indicate that a license may not necessarily apply to the entirety of a thing, but only to a separately copyrightable element. (Not that CC encourages people licensing things in a confusing fashion--if you license a bunch of different elements of a larger work differently, even if you mark them all as clearly as possible, it is probably just asking for trouble. But it is legally possible and people were in fact doing this with their materials.) Using "work" is not wrong; using "material" is more generic. Kat Walsh (spill your mind?) 19:19, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
  •  Comment I think this is moving in the entirely wrong direction. The licensing notices are already too verbose. The proposed versions are twice as long and guarantee that no one will ever bother reading them. Why do we always have to make things more complicated (to the point of absurdity), rather than simplifying. Does anyone think that users actually read the wall of text at Special:Upload, for example? Less is more. Kaldari (talk) 23:42, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Kaldari: We had considers a brief option too at Template talk:Cc-by-sa-4.0. So either it can be as brief as a 1. single line (This work/material by <author> is licensed under a <license name with link to deed>. You can find a specimen of this license at <link to legal code>.) or 2. a summary of the license. Most of our other license tags are very brief. I don't know why CC tags are designed in a different way. Anyway the current tag is not acceptable as CC already changed many words/explanations in their deeds. Jee 03:35, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Jkadavoor: I'm fine with changing the wording, but can we have a simpler option to vote on? I don't like any of the lengthy ones suggested above and actually think they would make people less likely to understand the licensing. Kaldari (talk) 05:18, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Kaldari: Thanks; it is an acceptable compromise for me. One minor suggestion. The word "file" is a bit confusing as it was a matter of debate here. According to CC's stand the license is applicable to the Licensed Material without considering the medium of expression or quality. So I think a word "Material", "Work" or "Media" may more suitable than "File". Jee 06:05, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not yet sure whether I'd prefer a long or a short version, but what I do like a lot about option 4 is the emphasis on the attribution part. I'd very much prefer this. --El Grafo (talk) 09:36, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
  •  Comment Of the current options given, a useful possibility would be Option 1 with the title and author of the work being optional i.e. the top line could read "This work by Real name ( is licensed under" or "This work is licensed under". Wikimedia Commons has many already uploaded works for which changing the deed markup would not automatically cause the work title and author info to appear in the deed. In addition, it may happen where an altered version (i.e. a derivative work) of a CC-licensed work is uploaded and in such a case, assuming that there is only one author name may be problematic. For the Option 1 deed, it would also be useful for the deed to mention that commercial usage is allowed, possibly by changing "upon the material" to "upon the material, even commercially" for clarification. --Gazebo (talk) 10:25, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Pinging early participants for further input: @, FDMS4, and Dereckson: , @Colin, Jarekt, and Multichill: , @El Grafo, Saffron Blaze, and ChrisiPK: ... Jee 09:13, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
    Sorry, I had totally forgotten about this discussion and now I am somewhat late to the party. The current suggestions are all still too explanatory for my taste. Note that we don't provide for any other licenses (e.g. {{GFDL}}, {{FAL}}) and from looking at the WMF input below it seems this is a good idea to protect both us and reusers. So my recommendation would be to change the template to visibly identify the licensing elements but not explain what they entail. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 11:54, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
    Thanks ChrisiPK. I like simple tags like {{GFDL}} and {{FAL}}) too. Since this is an important step, let us wait and see what WMF will say. Jee 13:57, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
    @Jkadavoor: then maybe we should abort the voting for now and postpone it? --El Grafo (talk) 14:32, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
    I've no clear idea. Usually Legal take much time to make any comment. In the mean time, I will try to add a simple option too as ChrisiPK suggested. Jee 15:07, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I didn't follow the discussion either, but has it been discussed whether we could make the license details collapsible? They could be expanded by default for logged-out and new users, and collapsed by default for experienced users …    FDMS  4    15:41, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

WMF input

Hi everyone, I asked the WMF people for input. Actually for two types of input:

  1. Legal part: The license templates should be as short as possible (less is more!), but legally sound
  2. Design part: Our current layout has been in use for quite some time and can use an update. If we're rebuilding all cc license templates we might as well make them look more appealing

They're not telling us what to do, but advising us (the community) so we can make a decision. The people who'll take the lead from the WMF side:

  1. Legal part: Luis Villa (WMF wiki / wp entry). He knows quite a bit about copyright and cc licenses specifically, he's even doing a presentation about it on Wikimania
  2. Design part: Mun May Tee-Galloway (WMF wiki). One of the designers who will have a fresh view on the layout here. She has a specialty: icons!

Some other WMF people might help out too. I hope this helps to increase the quality of our licensing templates. Multichill (talk) 09:42, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

  •  Comment Hi Multichill, thanks for asking them. Nothing wrong with a design overhaul in general, but I'd suggest to keep that separate from the content part this discussion is about. It's already complicated enough, imho. --El Grafo (talk) 09:58, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Thanks Multichill and El Grafo. It will be very helpful if WMF can advise/help us. I too mentioned this with Luis Villa earlier. So I think we can wait a bit more? Jee 10:17, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
  • If we wait for WMF legal we may be here until next year. I say we provide a license template that replicates the deed offered by CC (their legal obviously had input into that and thinks they are valid) Then link to the license itself only. As to design, make that a separate issue. No need waiting for this cosmetic update as that can be done only after we decide on content anyway. Saffron Blaze (talk) 17:37, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

 Comment So, some preliminary thoughts from me - thanks to Multichill and Jee for asking me to weigh in; sorry I couldn't do it more promptly.

  • There is no legally right/wrong answer, because there isn't much precedent for analyzing this sort of "summary" of a legal agreement. So these comments are even less legal advice than usual. They're essentially opinions of what I would think about if I were doing this for the Foundation; they're not statements of the law/meaning of the license, and they aren't the Foundation saying "do X".
  • I think it would be very good if design could weigh in before any decisions are made about which words to use, for two reasons. First, readability: more words + better visual design might be just as readable as fewer words + current (not very good) visual design. So the design may impact how many words we choose. Second, design will influence content and vice-versa: design may have creative ideas on how to present the core ideas, like a complete reorganization, or suggesting a "hide this in future" button, or many other things. They don't just simply make the words we choose prettier :)
  • This is probably obvious, but most of the wording improvements suggested by CC are, I think, no-brainers to adopt. For example, the new attribution language is much more helpful to readers than the old attribution language. So I'm glad to see that mostly reflected in the options above.
  • I suspect that attribution and the license information should not be mixed together. That can make it very confusing to know what attribution a user should use - the one in the "use this file" widget? The one in the license text? ...? There is also a lot of duplication- many repetitions of the file name, author name, etc. (I should also say that I'm pointing out the problem, but design will probably have better solutions for it than I will :)
  • If design and/or the community wants to cut word count, I would suggest leaving in restrictions (DRM clause, "may not give you all of the rights") and leaving out the non-core permissions ("licensor cannot revoke", "exception or limitation"). Prioritizing this way respects licensors and reduces the risk of a mistake for users.
  • I am biased, because I pushed CC to add it to the deed, but I think the "no additional restrictions" language needs to be in the summary. That is a core requirement of the license and should be visible to reusers.
  • The "no warranties are given" and "only some of the key features" language might make sense to move outside of the CC template, and use more widely, since those are true of essentially all of the license templates as far as I know (with the obvious exception of PD, since there is no "actual license" to link to).

Those are my preliminary thoughts; sorry they can't be more concrete/specific but this isn't that sort of problem :/ Hope they are helpful. I'm very busy in the run up to Wikimania but will try to be as responsive as possible here. Thanks! —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 01:59, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Based on your points I'm wondering if we should work on a expandable show/hide template like at this example. We could show the minimum information in normal view and have the option to expand to show more information. Just a thought.... Multichill (talk) 11:50, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
@Multichill: Seems a good idea. I already implemented it for my old licenses. (FDMS4 also made a similar suggestion above.) Jee 15:56, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Both of those examples hide the whole thing. I think I was thinking of hiding just the new "notices" section, since that is secondary information. In my mind, the important thing (that many of the PD templates get wrong :/ ) is to clearly explain to users what rights they have, so I would think we would always want to show the rights/basic responsibilities.
They also seem to default to closed, which is probably not ideal, but then again, I'm not a designer - I'd just like to be one in my next life ;) —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 16:28, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
@LuisV (WMF): Dou you mean option 6? Jee 17:33, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, something like that! I might consider calling them "Additional details" instead of "notices" if we went this route - the extra word won't hurt since so much else is hidden. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 17:53, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Saffron Blaze: It has two links. One to deed and one to actual license under "Additional details". I think the CC deed is available in more languages than the legal code (not sure). I think it is OK; but open for further suggestions. Jee 03:56, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Sorry Jee, but from the beginning it was pointed out that the template was in effect a deed and linking to it was redundant. The header link should be to the full text of the license and thus the link in the sentences would serve no further purpose. Saffron Blaze (talk) 14:06, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Hi Multichill, any response from Mun May Tee-Galloway? Jee 15:48, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Still working on it. But I agree with showing the most important info first and then make it an option to expand the rest if users want to find out more. I'll get back to you guys hopefully at latest the end of next week. MGalloway (WMF) (talk) 16:43, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I have some initial thoughts and mock-ups to illustrate. Thanks for being so patient! Wikimania prep has been taking up pretty much all my time. Here
is an attempt to connect the usage and terms more than we previously did, by stating in one place and sentence "Under this license terms*, you are free to…:" and then a list of things you're free to do and what you must do after, which is to attribute and sharealike. But I began by questioning why we care about CC license banner and the purpose of the license. Because people tend to be unaware of their boundaries, a CC license is there to protect the work of the creator and the fair usage of the user of the work. Since CC license permits users to do a lot of things (which they already have no problems with) so long as they are in compliant with license. I thought it was more important for users to know know what they must do if they choose to use the work, because without following terms, they risk getting in trouble. Here
, I made the entire banner look like a single important message with a very clear hierarchy of info, as if saying: Attribute and Sharealike and you'll be fine. Same thing here
, just with different language that's more actionable, "You are free to share & adapt…as long as you…Give attribution, Share Again." I've moved around some sentences here and there but don't claim to for them to be more appropriate for legal purposes, but is what I think could be more understandable. A more condensed version could look like this
. On a side note, I really like how The Noun Project has done to educate icon downloaders to properly attribute the author. When you click on the Download button, you are required to agree to attribute the author (3.0). Once downloaded, you are directed to a page where you get pretty specific instructions on where to attribute the author depending on popular medium usages. We should do something similar!MGalloway (WMF) (talk) 13:56, 7 August 2014 (UTC)
I want to thank May for working on this - it has challenged me to think hard about what should be in the templates. Three quick comments:
  1. It took me a while to wrap my head around it, but I like the idea of de-emphasizing the permissions (which I think are widely assumed) and emphasizing the restrictions.
  2. It is not obvious from the mockup, but the idea with 2.2 is that there could be mouseovers, popups, or other expansion which would show more information around the two primary restrictions.
  3. 2.2 scared me at first (fewer words == worried lawyer) but the more I think about it, the more it could free us up to do some interesting things in the expanded area. I still want to discuss it some with others on the legal team, but I think it's very promising.
My two cents. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk)
Do we really want to give specific instructions how to follow the license? Looking at the screenshot of the Noun Project, they tell you clearly what you need to do, e.g. to "Include the attribution either on the page where the symbol is displayed, or in About or Credits pages.". The problem with CC licenses is that we do not know what exactly they require. Threads about whether CC-by mandates that you put the attribution next to the image pop up regularly. The Commons/Wikimedia community may have an idea of how to interpret the license but who tells us that this is the one true way? Thinking ahead: What happens if we propagate this interpretation via our license templates and some court decides that it is invalid? Which ramifications would this have for us; would people even be able to extract damages from WMF because they followed the interpretation on the license template and were subsequently sued themselves? Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 08:25, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
To a large extent, we already give instructions on how to follow the licenses. The template contains statements about compliance, and the various attribution gadgets make (implicit) statements about how to comply. So, sure, we have to do it carefully (and ultimately it has to be a collective/community decision) but that shouldn't stop us from thinking creatively about how to encourage people to attribute correctly/easily. Or perhaps to put it another way: anecdote suggests people fail to understand how to comply the vast majority of the time. If we try to help fix that, of course there is some risk that we get it wrong, but it is hard to see how we could get it so wrong that we make it worse than the current situation. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 10:03, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Multichill, what about this new layout? I think "texts" of "Option 6" can be used with any of these layout, hiding bottom parts under "Read more". Jee 11:28, 15 August 2014 (UTC)